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20 2017 Nov

Anti-Piracy Tools Help Hollywood Sustain Its Love Affair with DVD Screeners

Los Angeles— For most of the country, the arrival of fall means cooler temperatures and leaves turning colors, but in Hollywood, it marks the official start of awards season and with it the annual deluge of Academy screeners.

An Oscar nomination, or better yet, a win, can have a big impact on a film’s box office performance and so studios are keen to ensure their films are seen by the right people, including Academy and guild members, movie critics and awards show journalists. Exposure is especially important for films that haven’t been widely released but are expected to be prime contenders at the Academy Awards, BAFTA, Golden Globes and other major awards competitions. To generate support for those titles, studios may host special screenings or make films available for viewing online through private streaming outlets. But the most popular way to get pre-released films into the hands of award competition voters is via screeners, individual DVD copies of films sent directly to their homes.

Despite their pervasive use, DVD screeners are controversial. While they come with stern warnings against sharing or tampering with the discs, screeners have in the past been blamed as sources of piracy. When in 2016, pirated copies of best picture nominees turned up on file-sharing sites it led to renewed calls for digital screeners.

But this past year, piracy wasn’t as big a problem. Fortium CEO Mathew Gilliat-Smith, whose company makes a variety of security tools used to safeguard pre-released entertainment content, says that studios have taken larger steps to stifle illegal copying. He notes that his company’s DVD content protection software Patronus was used in the production of screeners for seventy Oscar-hopeful films last season and, according to newswire accounts, not one English-language movie screener copy appeared online during the festive period. “That included Oscar winners Hacksaw Ridge, Fences, Sing, La La Land, Fantastic Beasts, and Manchester By Sea” he says.

PatronusFortium employs a team of programmers who are constantly updating the Patronus software to keep pirates at bay. “It’s a cat and mouse game between our team and the ripping programs,” he observes. “We’ll make an algorithm that frustrates them, then they will make their own routine to overcome it. We generally have a three to four-month lead time on them. By the time the discs begin to circulate in the public domain, we’re already onto our next update.” Gilliat-Smith adds that the lead time is especially important regarding screeners. By the time pirates can subvert a disc’s copy protection, the title has already been in theaters.

DVD screeners are likely to remain part of studios’ Oscar push for the simple reason that they are very popular. Many Academy members prefer them to private theater screenings or streaming services. “It would seem that some members are not easily persuaded to switch to online screening,” Gilliat-Smith says. “They treasure their screeners and must find it easier and more convenient to pop a disc into a player and watch on their TV rather than to figure out how to get a link to a file to playback via a device.”

DVD manufacturers are currently busy filling studio orders for DVD screeners for their 2018 Oscar hopefuls, and many are using Patronus to ensure that the content doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. “DVD screeners remain a valid option,” says Gilliat-Smith. “There’s a misconception that all screeners leak but, in fact, they don’t. There are obviously no guarantees with any protection, but the security Fortium aims to provide is strong. If we have another year with no leaks in the festive period then Patronus will have contributed to a successful season for the studios.”


17 2017 Nov

New Zealand’s Department of Post Installs DaVinci Resolve Studio and Resolve Mini Panels for HDR

Blackmagic Design recently announced that New Zealand’s Department of Post is using DaVinci Resolve Studio, DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panels and DaVinci Resolve Mini Panels as part of the leading HDR post production workflow in Australia and New Zealand.

Department of Post is one of the most influential post production houses in Australia and New Zealand, and provides end-to-end post production services, including DIT, editorial, online, finishing, color and audio for film and television productions, both local and international. Recently, they have focused on opening up New Zealand’s first fully HDR compliant post workflow to a wider range of productions, using DaVinci Resolve Studio as one of the core components. By demystifying HDR standards, and making it accessible to productions of every budget and scale, they hope to encourage more productions to produce world-class content in UHD HDR for the international market.

The facility has a DCI compliant DI theater, which includes DaVinci Resolve Studio and a DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel, a television grading suite with DaVinci Resolve Studio seats and DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel for 4K HDR post, and five seats of DaVinci Resolve Studio for the company’s near-set DIT department.

Katie Hinsen, Department of Post’s Head of Operations, describes the company’s HDR workflow, “Depending on the distributor, our HDR workflow can change. Generally speaking, our dailies and DIT department will process footage for editorial, and we will screen dailies in full HDR to help guide the cinematographers. This is very helpful for our clients, especially since HDR is still new enough that many directors of photography have limited experience with the nuances of extended dynamic range and colors.”

Once production wraps and editorial is done, media is conformed in DaVinci Resolve Studio and graded to the HDR standard required.

“Resolve has the added intelligence of scaled scopes for HDR, and all the color management EOTF’s we need. After the grade, we are able to export whatever high-resolution DSM format we require for mastering, straight out of the Resolve to our deliverables mastering team. We then use Resolve’s collaborative workflow to pass the timeline to our assistant colorist/finishing artist for the SDR trim pass. Once again, it’s DaVinci Resolve’s excellent color management which makes this far less complicated than other systems, as it has the ability to more intelligently switch between color spaces.”

Since they provide post production for many international films, commercials and TV shows, Department of Post also had to build an HDR workflow that deals with all HDR standards, to deliver in HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG.

“Resolve color management makes this seamless, taking the complication out of the post finishing process across three fundamentally different color science workflows,” Hinsen continued. “We use Resolve on all of the HDR projects we do! Resolve has fantastic color management and is an integral part of our end-to-end HDR workflow. Resolve is also used for most of our finishing projects. We believe that every production, regardless of budget or scope, should have equal access to the best tools and technology the world has to offer, so we use Resolve across web series, commercials, television and feature films. We even used Resolve recently on portions of an AR-integrated live broadcast.”

One of the most recent additions to the Department of Post’s workflow are DaVinci Resolve Mini Panels. “We love using the Resolve panels, both the large and the Mini Panel. The Mini Panel has really improved our high-end TV grading. We’re looking to add some Resolve Micro Panels for our dailies colorists in DIT,” she said.

While international productions are now regularly finishing in HDR, Department of Post is helping local productions with their first move into HDR, and opening their doors to New Zealand’s cinematographers and post production freelancers for training on HDR workflows.

“We want to help ensure that our local productions are consistently world-class, so we open our doors to give the production community the tools and exposure to HDR material, so that they can produce the best work possible,” said Hinsen. “It’s all about enabling our creative community to tell unique Australian and New Zealand stories to the world.”

17 2017 Nov

Micro Cinema Cameras Help Capture Web Series for MegaBots’ Giant Fighting Robots

Blackmagic Design recently announced that its Micro Cinema Cameras and URSA Mini 4.6K digital film camera were used by DP Scott Sorensen to help chronicle a web series for the US-based robotics company MegaBots, Inc. MegaBots uses cutting-edge robotics technology to create giant 16-foot-tall, internally-piloted humanoid robots.

Two years ago, MegaBots challenged Japanese robotics company Suidobashi Heavy Industry to a giant robot duel, and the Japanese team accepted the challenge. In the first episode of the web series, MegaBots determined that its existing Mk. II robot would be unsuited for melee combat and decided that rather than modify the existing robot, it would be better to build a new robot from the ground up. As such, the MegaBots’ web series documented the R&D, testing and eventual creation of an entirely new robot called Eagle Prime. The series culminated in the Giant Robot Duel between MegaBots’ Eagle Prime and Suidobashi’s Kuratas.

“MegaBots has a strong following online. People really want to see the giant fighting robots of science fiction duking it out in real life. The goal of the web series was to show the audience a bit of what it takes to bring these machines to life,” said Sorensen. “At the beginning of the series, we sat down and outlined the major milestones of the build. Whenever a new part of the robot came online, we’d come in with a small crew and document the process. Each time the MegaBots team brought up a system of the robot, it was the first time the collected parts had been utilized in that way. In the event of a failure, we had to be prepared to document every possible outcome. That being the case, it was key that we had an arsenal of cameras to cover each event in 360 degrees.”

To capture every possible angle, Sorensen relied on six Micro Cinema Cameras for their compact size, expansion port and filmic look. “My primary reason for choosing the Micro Cinema Cameras was their expansion port. I knew that eventually, I would be rigging cameras inside the robots’ cockpits. With the expansion port on the cameras, I was able to roll and cut the cameras remotely via an RC plane transmitter and keep them charged via AC power provided by the robot,” he noted.

An URSA Mini 4.6K was also used several times throughout the shoot as a secondary over-cranked camera. “For several of the tests we filmed, I’d have the URSA Mini 4.6K recording slow motion, while I operated one of the Micro Cinema Cameras on a gimbal,” explained Sorensen.

Sorensen also used Blackmagic Design’s MultiView 4, SmartView 4K monitor and numerous Micro Converters HDMI to SDI as part of his workflow. During the duel, each robot was rigged with a series of Micro Cinema Cameras which were fed into the Micro Converters HDMI to SDI, which then went into two MultiView 4s. The MultiView 4s in turn fed to a wireless video solution that transmitted the split screen image to the SmartView 4K in the video village so Sorensen could confirm each camera responded to the remote triggering system. The remote camera triggering system consisted of a single RC transmitter that was paired with two receivers; one for each robot. From the receivers, Sorensen ran a single servo cable to each Micro Cinema Camera’s expansion cable. Each camera was assigned to its own switch on the transmitter.

“The remote viewing/control system in the bots was simple to set up with off-the-shelf parts. The system was a massive time saver on set, and it was reassuring to see that the cameras rolled through all the hits and crashes. It was beautiful,” said Sorensen.

Sorensen added, “Because the Micro Cinema Cameras are so tiny, it was simple to rig them inside the confined spaces of the cockpits. While we were testing with Eagle Prime, we also used the cameras locked off on c-stands and Magic Arms, a camera on a motion control slider, another on a gimbal and one on a jib.”

Sorensen also commented on the Micro Cinema Cameras’ durability. “While filming one episode, we were testing the robot’s ability to throw 55 gallon drums. In a stroke of massive bad luck, a wayward barrel came straight down onto a Micro Cinema Camera rigged on a motion control slider. The drum sheared the lens clean off, but did only minor damage to the slider and did nothing at all to the camera. They’re impressively durable, those little cameras,” he said.


17 2017 Nov

Avid Unveils VR Innovations and Accelerated Music Creation for Pro Tools

Avid empowers Pro Tools | HD users to take command of VR projects with Facebook Spatial Workstation and accelerate immersive workflows with Dolby Atmos® integrations 

Avid® recently announced a new version of Pro Tools® that empowers users to take on virtual reality (VR) projects with Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation. Debuting at AES New York 2017, the new version includes updates to the integrated Dolby Atmos® workflows and is more powerful than ever for users at all levels, giving Pro Tools | First, Pro Tools, and Pro Tools | HD users new features and improvements that accelerate workflows and expand their creative toolsets.

Audio professionals working on virtual reality projects can now produce immersive, full-sphere, surround sound content from start to finish in Pro Tools | HD. Users can easily edit and mix audio in a 3D space with support for first-, second- and third-order Ambisonics formats across Pro Tools | HD tracks and busses, and then output and deliver to the required formats for playback. Pro Tools | HD also includes Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation for enhanced VR functionality. Also included in this version of Pro Tools | HD are enhancements to the Dolby Atmos® workflows enabling users to quickly and easily mix and deliver immersive experiences for theaters and homes.

Musicians and composers using Pro Tools can now create faster with enhanced MIDI functionality, work smarter with MIDI input display, and quickly find tracks with the new Scroll to Track feature. A new batch rename feature enables both post professionals and music creators to quickly rename groups of clips or tracks instantly.

Aspiring musicians and aspiring professionals using Pro Tools | First, the free version of Pro Tools, gain the same MIDI enhancements as Pro Tools users. In addition, they can now turn session documents from earlier Pro Tools versions into Projects that are ready for cloud backup and collaboration.

“As part of our commitment to providing our preeminent client and user community with the most comprehensive tools and workflow solutions, we deliver a continual stream of innovation with every new version of Pro Tools—and this latest release is no exception,” said Rob D’Amico, Director, Pro Audio Market Solutions at Avid. “This latest version of Pro Tools is packed with features and improvements for everyone. From MIDI enhancements that accelerate music workflows, and VR capabilities for post professionals, to new collaborative capabilities for aspiring pros, this latest version delivers tangible value for users of all backgrounds.”


17 2017 Nov

MTI Film Applies Finishing Touch to New Videos from Pussy Riot, Cold War Kids and Watt

Colorist Alex Chernoff teams with director Phillip R. Lopez.

MTI Film colorist Alex Chernoff provided final post services for three new videos directed by Phillip R. Lopez, including a release from Russian punk band Pussy Riot with the provocative title Straight Outta Vagina. In finalizing the look of the videos, Chernoff collaborated directly with Lopez who’s been garnering a lot of attention for his visually stunning short films and music videos.

A hip-hop feminist anthem, Straight Outta Vagina is set in a church and a tiled bathroom (the actual shooting location was the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles) and includes a cast of children, dancers and female body builders. “It’s about the power of female sexuality,” says producer Matthew McCluggage. “It reminds men where they come from.”

Color is used creatively in the video to set the trippy, celebratory mood, establish locations and reinforce the band’s brand. “We drew out the gold in the classical design of the theater to give it the feel of a Russian Orthodox church,” explains McCluggage. “We played against the green in the tiles of the bathroom scenes and went for a warmer look in the mirrored shots. Overall, we emphasized the blues and the yellows, the band’s signature colors.”

“It’s a strong look,” adds Chernoff. “Phillip and I worked hard on the church scenes and are very happy with how well they turned out. We used a grain tool throughout to give it a filmic look—that’s something I often do with Phillip’s work.”

Chernoff also applied the final grades to Love is Mystical from the Cold War Kids and Burning Man from the rapper Watt (featuring Post Malone). In the former, most scenes are presented in reverse motion and colored in soft, dreamlike tones. “The goal was to capture that feeling of a first kiss, or first falling in love,” Lopez explains, “the way time can stop, move backwards and you get totally lost in that mystical moment.”

Burning Man, meanwhile, casts Watt and Post Malone as deliverymen who lace an office water cooler with LSD igniting (literally, as it turns out) a wild party. Chernoff says that he and Lopez had fun adding a psychedelic cast to scenes of office workers dancing in piles of shredded paper and covered in Post-It notes. The video climaxes with a man running down a hall after he has been set on fire. “We made the fire super-hot to make it feel more real,” Chernoff observes.

McCluggage observes that Alex is a valuable creative partner as he understands intuitively the visual aesthetic Lopez is seeking to achieve. “Alex has really refined his craft,” he says. “And, as a young artist, he relates well to the music and contributes great ideas during post.”

See the videos here:

17 2017 Nov

Avid Helps Gareth Owen Bring the Biggest Musical Theater Productions to Broadway and The West End

Award-winning sound designer relies on Avid VENUE | S6L to deliver pristine sound for some of this year’s biggest musical theater productions, including A Bronx Tale, Bat Out of Hell, Wind in the Willows and 42nd Street

Avid® recently announced that award-winning sound designer Gareth Owen relies on Avid’s flagship live sound system to support some of the world’s most popular musical theater productions. Avid VENUE™ | S6Lprovided Owen with the sound quality and versatility to meet the demands of multiple, concurrent stage productions this summer, including Bat Out of Hell, Wind in the Willows and 42nd Street—all running in London’s West End, as well as A Bronx Tale and Come From Away on Broadway.

Working on a diverse range of high-profile productions, Owen needs a live sound system with the power and flexibility to create the perfect sound for each production regardless of the genre. As long-time members of Avid’s distinguished user community, Owen and his team were the first to adopt Avid VENUE | S6L for Broadway and West End productions, using its extensive programming capabilities to craft much of each show during the production phase.

“Every show is different, and some are polar opposites of each other in terms of sonic requirements—for example, Bat Out of Hell is a balls-to-the-wall rock and roll musical, as loud as any concert, while 42nd Street is the traditional book musical, all about subtlety and transparency,” said Owen. “The S6L takes these varying musical styles in its stride, tackling them all as if it was designed specifically for that purpose. The sound quality is far ahead of any other console I’ve used. There’s a clarity and transparency to the sound of the S6L that’s a new experience for me. And it gives me the power to explore my creativity without being hemmed in by the technology.”

Owen and his team are currently using the Avid VENUE | S6L console for several shows, including Come From Away (Broadway), A Bronx Tale (Broadway), ,42nd Street (West End), Young Frankenstein (West End) and Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame (Germany). They will also be using the console for a number of upcoming productions, including Donna Summer (Broadway), Come From Away (Toronto), Prince of Egypt (Denmark), Bat Out of Hell (Toronto), Starlight Express (London) and Strictly Ballroom (London).

“We are honored that one of the world’s top sound designers relies on Avid’s comprehensive tools and workflow solutions to mix the biggest musical theater productions,” said Avid President, Jeff Rosica. “As well as giving Gareth and his team the control and creative flexibility to support the most sophisticated productions regardless of genre, the Avid VENUE | S6L console’s sound quality is second to none.”


17 2017 Nov

Motion Picture Sound Editors to Honor Kathryn Bigelow with Filmmaker Award

2018 MPSE Golden Reel Awards Slated for February 18th

The Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) recently announced that it will honor Kathryn Bigelow with its annual Filmmaker Award. The director of such films as DetroitZero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker, is being recognized for her outstanding contributions to the art of cinema. She will receive the award at the MPSE Golden Reel Awards ceremony February 18th in Los Angeles.

Kathryn Bigelow Headshot 8[4]A trailblazing filmmaker whose work is noteworthy for its emotional depth, arresting visuals and stunning action, Bigelow is the only woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director (in 2010 for The Hurt Locker). “Kathryn Bigelow’s films have that rare quality of challenging our preconceptions by moving us and creating moments of powerful empathy,” said MPSE President Tom McCarthy. “She is a true artist. We are extremely proud to recognize her tireless contributions to our industry and culture with our Filmmaker Award.”

Past recipients of the MPSE Filmmaker Award include Guillermo del Toro, Sam Raimi, Darren Aronofsky, George Lucas, Ang Lee, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Brian Grazer and Gale Anne Hurd.

“Collaboration with the sound editor is a gratifying and inspiring time in the post process,” said Bigelow. “It is the moment that the film wraps itself around you, revealing its final form. I am honored to receive this award from my colleagues in sound editing.”

Originally intent on a fine arts career, Bigelow studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. She later became interested in filmmaking and received a scholarship to Columba University’s graduate film school. Her debut as a feature director came in 1982 with the drama The Loveless (co-written and co-directed by Monty Montgomery). That was followed by the features Near Dark (1987), Blue Steel (1989), Point Break (1991), Strange Days (1995), The Weight of Water (2000) and K-9: The Widowmaker, as well as several television projects.

The Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker (2008) won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing. Zero Dark Thirty, which followed in 2012, also achieved widespread critical and commercial success, and earned Best Director nominations from the Golden Globes and BAFTA (as well as an Oscar for Best Sound Editing). Her latest project, Detroit, is a deep and unsettling portrait of the race riots that gripped that city in 1967. The Los Angeles Times called it “a picture whose political resonance in the Black Lives Matter era is fierce and unambiguous.”


17 2017 Nov

Dennis Doros Elected President of the Association of Moving Image Archivists

Members Also Vote for Three New Directors of the AMIA Board

LOS ANGELES  – The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) announces that Dennis Doros, co-owner of Milestone Films, has been elected president of the international association by AMIA members. Doros will be inducted into office at the annual AMIA Conference in New Orleans (Nov. 29 – Dec. 2), when he will begin a two-year term. He succeeds Andrea Kalas, who has led the organization forward for the past two years.

AMIA members have also elected three new directors to the Board of Governors: Casey Davis Kaufman, senior project manager for the WGBH Media Library and Archives and project manager for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting; Andrea Leigh, moving image processing unit head at the Library of Congress National Audio Visual Conservation Center; and Yvonne Ng, s enior archivist at WITNESS, an organization that supports people using video to protect human rights. They join board members Jayson Wall of The Walt Disney Studios, consultant and doctoral student Lauren Sorensen, doctoral student/field scholar Melissa Dollman, John Polito of Audio Mechanics, and Teague Schneiter from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

AMIA is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to the acquisition, description, preservation, restoration, exhibition and use of audiovisual media. The association’s programs help members stay abreast of the latest methods and technologies, ensuring that our cultural treasures are accessible for future generations. The AMIA membership includes archivists, educators, librarians, digital asset managers, technologists, collectors, genealogists, filmmakers, historians, consultants, studio executives, environmentalists, distributors, and broadcasters from around the world — all of whom are actively engaged in the art and science of media preservation and presentation.

Doros comments, “I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve AMIA, an organization that has meant so much to me both personally and professionally. The friendships, connections, and camaraderie I have found here have helped me discover, research, and preserve some of the most challenging and rewarding projects of my career. I am inspired on a daily basis by this passionate and supportive international community. I know that working together, we can bring greater diversity, fairness, and outreach to our field while saving a lot of great moving images for generations to come.”

Doros began his career at Kino International in 1984, where he was responsible for restoring Erich von Stroheim’s Queen Kelly and Raoul Walsh’s Sadie Thompson, both starring Gloria Swanson. In 1990, he co-founded Milestone Films with his wife, Amy Heller. Working with film archives and labs around the world, they have restored and distributed a wide range of independent films that include works by Shirley Clarke, Charles Burnett, Margot Benacerraf, Billy Woodberry, Kathleen Collins, Marcel Ophuls, and Kent Mackenzie. Filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Barbara Kopple, Steven Soderbergh, Thelma Schoonmaker, and author Sherman Alexie have worked with Milestone to promote special restoration projects. For the past 12 years, Doros has been a consultant to Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

Doros and Heller have been awarded the National Society of Film Critics’ Film Heritage Award five times and first Special Archival Award; the International Film Seminars’ Leo Award; the NY Film Critics Circle’s Special Award twice; the LA Film Critics’ first Legacy of Cinema Award; and a Film Preservation Honors award from Anthology Film Archives. Doros served three terms on the AMIA Board of Directors, and was the 2016 winner of AMIA’s William S. O’Farrell Volunteer Award in recognition of his contributions to the field.

For more information, visit


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9 2017 Nov

Hollywood Professional Association Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation Conferred Upon NASA, Amazon Web Services, and AWS Elemental

Award Recognizes Groundbreaking International Space Station Live 4k Stream


November 9, 2017 (Burbank) – The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) has awarded the organization’s prestigious Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation to NASA, Amazon Web Services, and AWS Elemental, an Amazon Web Services Company, for the first public Live 4K stream from the International Space Station (ISS). The honor, whose recipient was selected by a jury of industry veterans, was conceived to recognize companies and individuals who have demonstrated excellence, whether in the development of workflow and process or project to support creative storytelling or in technical innovation. The coveted distinction will be bestowed November 16, 2017 at the 12th annual HPA Awards gala at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA.

In 2006, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) achieved a broadcast industry milestone when the agency successfully produced a live high-definition (HD) transmission from space. On April 26, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time (US) at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the 2017 NAB Show, NASA crossed another threshold in advanced video innovation as it delivered live 4K video from the ISS. The live feed from 250 miles above Earth was encoded using AWS Elemental video processing software on board the ISS and on the ground at Johnson Space Center for delivery by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the cloud to the Las Vegas Convention Center and to viewers globally on multi-screen devices.

According to NASA, the opportunities that live 4K video unlocks for the agency are significant: in addition to enhancing NASA’s ability to observe, uncover and adapt new knowledge of orbital and deep space, there is the visual impact of “live” versus recorded video. The 4K images can also benefit the work of scientists by helping engineers and payload developers better monitor experiments as well as spacecraft performance, and aid trouble-shooting.

Speaking on behalf of the jury, jury co-chairs Carolyn Giardina and Joachim Zell said, “The technology and workflow that enabled last spring’s inspiring live 4K broadcast from the ISS will be further used by NASA in conducting scientific research and sharing its work with the public. On behalf of the jury and the HPA, it is an honor to recognize the tremendous achievement born of this partnership.”

Communications Manager for NASA’s International Space Station Program Dylan Mathis commented “NASA is honored to receive this award from HPA.  The project was important to our team for many reasons, including its advancement of scientific progress while also offering an exceptionally engaging viewing experience to people who simply want to see what the ISS really looks like, the astronauts onboard and incredible images from space.”

“Extremely high-resolution video from the ISS helps support exploration, observation, and discovery by NASA scientists in space and on the ground. The cloud helps the public have an incredibly immersive educational experience of space at scale,” said Keith Wymbs, Chief Marketing Officer for AWS Elemental. “It was thrilling to collaborate with NASA and with our colleagues at the National Association of Broadcasters on this milestone.”

In addition to the Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation, the HPA Awards will recognize excellence in 12 craft categories including color grading, editing, sound and

visual effects during the gala on November 16, 2017. Other special awards bestowed that night include the Engineering Excellence Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award, to Larry Chernoff.

Tickets for the 12th annual HPA Awards are on sale now and can be purchased online at More information about the HPA Awards and the Hollywood Professional Association can be found at Title Sponsor Blackmagic Design; Engineering Excellence Sponsor HGST; Foundation Members Avid, Company 3, Deluxe, Dolby, EFilm, and Encore; and Platinum Sponsors IMAX, Secret Headquarters, and Sohonet are among the sponsors of the 2017 HPA Awards, which are produced by Homerun Entertainment.


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About the HPA® Awards
The HPA Awards were created to foster awareness and recognize the achievements of the individuals and companies that have contributed to groundbreaking technologies and creative excellence within the professional media content industry, and build involvement in the Hollywood Professional Assciation. The HPA is a partner of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®). Information about the HPA Awards is available at The HPA Awards will be presented with generous support from Foundation Members and sponsors.

About the Hollywood Professional Association
Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) serves the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content. Through its partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), the leader in the advancement of the art, science and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, the HPA continues to extend its support of the community it represents. Information about the HPA is available at


Media Contact:
ignite strategic communications
christine purse | kate eberle
+1 818 980 3473 | chris mobile: +1 323 806 9696 |

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24 2017 Oct

Winners of the Third Annual SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival Recognized at SMPTE 2017

Winners of the Third Annual SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival Recognized at SMPTE 2017

Film Festival Held During SMPTE 2017 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2017) Featured 17 Official Selections From Around the World

LOS ANGELES— Oct. 24, 2017 — SMPTE®, the organization whose standards have supported a century of technological advances in entertainment technology and whose membership spans the globe, and the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA), the organization serving the professional media creation and finishing community, have announced the winners of the third annual SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival.

Held on Monday, Oct. 23, at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, California, in conjunction with the SMPTE 2017 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2017), the film festival showcased submissions demonstrating creative uses of technology in storytelling. SMPTE and the HPA received 119 submissions from more than 30 countries, and the 17 official selections screened during SMPTE 2017 represented Germany, Hong Kong, the U.K., and the U.S.

The event was hosted by Howard Lukk, SMPTE director of engineering and standards, who is also a film director, and by Aimée Ricca, SMPTE marketing and communication, who previously worked in cinema. The official selections at the festival were screened in SMPTE-DCP format, courtesy of Sundog Media Toolkit. Eight films earned awards in the following categories:

Innovative Use of Entertainment Technology to Engage the Audience in the Story — Animated Short (tie)

• “Tom in Couchland” by James Just of Ringling College of Art and Design (Sarasota, Florida, U.S.)
• “VERGE” by ChingTien Chu of School of Visual Arts (New York, New York, U.S.)

Innovative Use of Entertainment Technology to Engage the Audience in the Story — Live-Action Short

• “Mind Game” by Weisi Dai of School of Visual Arts (New York, New York, U.S.)

Innovative Use of Technology in an Experimental Short

• “Jazz Orgie” by Irina Rubina of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg (Ludwigsburg, Germany)

Innovative Use of Mobile Device or Tablet to Convey a Story — Narrative Short

• “LONDON STRIKE” by Jiranant Kanjanagawin of University of Greenwich (London, U.K.)

Innovative Use of Analog Technologies in a Live Action Narrative Short

• “Home” by Vivian Lau of Emerson College (Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.)

Documentary Short With Technology as the Subject Matter

• “Baylor VirtuOso Documentary Short on Use of Technology in VR Music Video” by Gustavo Raskowsky, Marcos Luna Hoyas, and team of Baylor University (Waco, Texas, U.S.)

Audience Choice Award

• “KCLOC” by Ninaad Kulkarni of School of Visual Arts (New York, New York, U.S.)

The student filmmakers behind the winning selections received awards for their work, as well as prizes courtesy of Avid, Blackmagic Design, Other World Computing, and Sundog Media Toolkit. Filmmaker information is available at

“The art and craft of filmmaking demands an ever-growing ease with technology that changes at lightning fast speeds. This year’s outstanding submissions demonstrate impressive facility with these tools in the service of the filmmakers’ artistic endeavors,” said Seth Hallen, President of HPA. “Storytelling is the goal, not the technology, and it is inspiring to see how these talented young filmmakers have marshaled the tools to tell the stories they are interested in telling. The HPA is proud to support this festival, and congratulates this group of talented filmmakers!”

The jurors for this year’s festival featured a diverse group of accomplished professionals from around the world. They included Elisa Bonora, ACE, an editor and producer whose credits include multiple Emmy®-nominated documentaries; Christina Capra, a director and producer of virtual reality (VR) content; David Creed, an award-winning short-filmmaker; Andrea Dimity, a film producer and literary manager; David Ginsberg, a postproduction technology consultant; Tim Heindl, senior vice president of research at Sony Pictures; Katie Hinsen, a digital intermediate artist and founder of the Blue Collar Post Collective (BCPC); and Niven Howie, ACE, editor of commercials, pop videos including Sting’s “Ten Summoner’s Tales” and XTC’s “Dear God,” and the features “Dawn of the Dead” (2004) and “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” (2005).

The jury also included Nancy Jundi, a data scientist for the entertainment, technology, and SaaS industries; Patricia Keighley, senior vice president of IMAX Corporation and co-founder and managing director of IMAX POST/DKP Inc.; Mark Kenna, the CEO of U.K.-based Bad Blood Films and a film sound consultant; Vicky Lau, a VFX artist and VR consultant; Loren Nielsen, co-founder and president of Entertainment Technology Consultants; Chris Nienow, a VR business development consultant; Leon Silverman, general manager of Digital Studio, at The Walt Disney Studios; David Sontag, an award-winning writer and producer; Jen Soulé president of Other World Computing; and Joachim Zell, vice president of imaging science and technical director at EFILM, where he began the EC3 onset and near-set dailies division.

SMPTE 2017 is the premier annual event for motion-imaging and media technology, production, operations, and the allied arts and sciences. This is the third year that SMPTE and the HPA have hosted a student film festival in conjunction with SMPTE 2017.

More information about the film festival is available at

Further information about SMPTE is available at Additional information about the HPA is available

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About the Hollywood Professional Association
Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) serves the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools, and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media, and other dynamic media content. Through its partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), the leader in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, the HPA continues to extend its support of the community it represents. Information about the HPA is available at

About SMPTE®
For more than a century, the people of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®, pronounced “simp-tee”) have sorted out the details of many significant advances in media and entertainment technology, from the introduction of “talkies” and color television to HD and UHD (4K, 8K) TV. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has received an Oscar® and multiple Emmy® Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery engineering across the industry. SMPTE has developed thousands of standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines, more than 800 of which are currently in force today. SMPTE Time Code™ and the ubiquitous SMPTE Color Bars™ are just two examples of SMPTE’s notable work. As it enters its second century, SMPTE is shaping the next generation of standards and providing education for the industry to ensure interoperability as the industry evolves further into IT- and IP-based workflows.

SMPTE’s global membership today includes more than 7,000 members: motion-imaging executives, creatives, technologists, researchers, and students who volunteer their time and expertise to SMPTE’s standards development and educational initiatives. A partnership with the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) connects SMPTE and its membership with the businesses and individuals who support the creation and finishing of media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at 

All trademarks appearing herein are the properties of their respective owners.

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Description of Photos: SMPTE-HPA 2017 Student Film Festival